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Pandemic Journal

I STARTED KEEPING a daily diary that centered on the Coronavirus pandemic in late February, 2020. It is a personal record of my days, which often include impacts of Covid-19, although to date I have been fortunate not to encounter the virus directly.


I also write down one or more news headlines most days,  something that strikes me. And because I was reading Daniel Defoe's "Journal of the Plague Year," in the early days of my journal, I sometimes quote from Defoe's 1721 work, passages that resonate, often eerily, nearly 300 years later.

Pandemic journalvol1.jpg
Journal of the Pandemic 1.jpg

EARLY DAYS: Increasing awareness of the coronavirus

NINE PAGES, NINETEEN DAYS OF CORONAVIRUS: We follow the shocking news in Italy, cancel our forthcoming trip there and drive from Southern California to our home in Bellingham, Washington -- as everything changes.

February 24 to March 13, below.

INTO MARCH: Canceled, closed, stay home

EIGHTEEN MORE DAYS OF MARCH : The governor orders restaurants and bars closed, and cancels events and large gatherings. "Stay home, stay safe," is the watchword. Covid-19 hits too close to home with my son's sickness. Donald Trump's lies are appalling. We develop a new vocabulary and adopt new habits, deal with shortages of toilet paper and flour, follow the horrendous situation in New York City and a super-spreader event nearby. We have trouble sleeping. Bird sightings offer a brief respite.

March 14 to March 31, below.

APRIL & MAY:  How will we deal with this?

MASKS, TIME, NUMB-ERS, WORRIES : We start wearing masks all the time. No one comes in our house. I meet with friends, visit grandkids, take classes in Italian and Tai Chi, observe Passover -- all on Zoom. The numbers of the dead are overwhelming. Roy gets sick and we worry that it's Covid-19. Protesters rail against the governor's stay-at-home order. We drink coffee and eat sweets in the afternoon to try to cheer ourselves. I have a record number of migraines. Trump holds a rally at the Lincoln Memorial and tells states to open up as fast as they can. Toilet paper ordered a month ago arrives from China. A shocking 100,000 people die from Covid in the U.S. George Floyd is killed by police in Minneapolis and protests break out across the country.

April and May, 2020, below.

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